BOSTON -- Just before the All-Star break, it almost seemed like the Red Sox were bound to lose Craig Kimbrel for six weeks potentially with the knee damage.
However, prior to Saturday’s game, John Farrell sounded optimistic about Kimbrel return more towards the three-week timetable.
The closer has gotten back to what he was working on prior to his injury, including his breaking ball.
“I’m out there spinning the ball right now,” Kimbrel said. “My knee feels great, so I’m just working on getting back into my mechanics. Staying compact and before I hurt my knee I was working on a few things. Just getting back to focusing on [those things].”
Kimbrel also stated that his arm “feels great” which was originally a concern for the Red Sox Front Office when he was injured -- fearing the knee would somehow lead to arm problems later.
Although things seem to almost be moving too fast for Kimbrel, he feels like the process has taken too long.
“It may look like a pretty fast recovery but it feels like forever,” Kimbrel said. “I think the way some people may look at it, it might be a little fast, but I’m not doing anything that is uncomfortable. I’m pushing myself, but I’m not pushing myself to a point where it doesn’t feel good. Testing everything out, that’s kind of where it is.
“Went in there and we didn’t really fix anything. Just kind of cut some cartilage out and right now it’s [about] getting my muscles firing like they’re supposed to. That’s coming back pretty fast because we were able to keep the swelling down right after surgery, so I was able to get back into the weight room and get back to the range of motion pretty quick.”
The righty will throw his first bullpen since the surgery and his confident he’ll feel good on the mound.
In fact, he thinks he could’ve thrown off the mound Sunday, but still hasn’t tested one important responsibility of a pitcher.
“I think I could throw off the mound,” Kimbrel said. “I don’t know if I can run in from the bullpen yet. [On Monday] we’re going to get off the mound, throw a bullpen and then can start pushing off and running.
“Fielding my position and cutting -- things like that. The kind of things where if a guy bunts on me [or] if I’ve gotta cover first -- I’ve gotta be able to do things like that.”